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Virgin Galactic Announces New Research Flight Contract with Repeat Customer


Waspie_Dwarf

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Virgin Galactic Announces New Research Flight Contract with Repeat Customer
International Institute for Astronautical Sciences to Expand Research Conducted on Galactic 05 Flight
Second-Time Virgin Galactic Astronaut Kellie Gerardi to Lead IIAS Crew Aboard Next Generation Delta Spaceship
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ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – (June 20, 2024) – Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (“Virgin Galactic” or the “Company”) today announced a new contract with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (“IIAS”) to fly three research astronauts as part of a future crew aboard the Company’s Delta Class spaceship.

It will be the second research mission that IIAS has conducted with Virgin Galactic. It follows ‘Galactic 05’ in November 2023, which tested novel healthcare technologies and examined how fluids behaved in low gravity to help inform designs for future medical technologies and life-support systems. The mission is anticipated to take place within the first year of Delta commercial service, which remains on track to commence in 2026.

Read More: ➡️ Virgin Galactic

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1 hour ago, Hammerclaw said:

Highly ambitious

What's highly ambitious about repeating an already successful mission?

1 hour ago, Hammerclaw said:

considering they haven't even begun manufacturing parts for the Delta, yet.

Not entirely true, (the article says MAJOR parts). As of May Virgin Galactic had started ground testing sub-systems of the Delta class (see here). It remains on target to start commercial operations in 2026.

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1 hour ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

What's highly ambitious about repeating an already successful mission?

Not entirely true, (the article says MAJOR parts). As of May Virgin Galactic had started ground testing sub-systems of the Delta class (see here). It remains on target to start commercial operations in 2026.

It's a new aircraft/spacecraft.

New aircraft are certified by the FAA through the following process123:

  1. Type certificate: The manufacturer submits the aircraft to appropriate regulatory authorities for testing.
  2. Expensive and lengthy testing: The certification process can take 5 to 9 years.
  3. Structural airframe tests and extensive flight tests are conducted.
  4. Airworthiness certificate is issued for produced aircraft.
  5. Ongoing operations and changes to type certificates 
  6. Airworthiness Certification | Federal Aviation Administration (faa.gov)
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